Former Prince George’s County School Bus Driver Sentenced to 55 Years in Prison for Producing Child Pornography
Upper Marlboro Man Used His Cell Phone to Document His Sexual Abuse of a Child Kept Ledgers Denoting Personal Information of Over 400 Children
Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus sentenced Scott Smallwood, age 29, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, today to 55 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, for two counts of producing child pornography. Smallwood has been detained since his arrest in May, 2010.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
“A vigilant citizen reported the discovery of child pornography, and remarkable detective work by police and federal agents resulted in the rescue of an abused child,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “This case demonstrates the value Project Safe Childhood brings by joining local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and making it a priority to identify unknown abused children and prosecute pedophiles who abuse them.”
“Child predators targeting our most vulnerable members of society is a serious matter and even more disturbing when it involves a school bus driver,” said Special Agent in Charge William Winter of ICE Homeland Security Investigations in Baltimore. “HSI is committed to apprehending individuals who sexually exploit our children and deprive them of their innocence. We will continue working with federal, state and local agencies to investigate such reprehensible actions.”
According to his guilty plea, on March 15, 2010, Smallwood left a microSD card on the counter of a 7-11 convenience store located in Clinton, Maryland. That same day, an individual reported to the Prince George’s County Police that he found a microSD card from the same store. The individual observed 10 to 15 videos on the microSD card, including images of a man engaged in sexually explicit conduct with a prepubescent male.
On March 17, 2010, the individual provided the microSD card to law enforcement. ICE HSI agents subsequently identified Smallwood as the person that left the microSD card at the store. Further investigation revealed 13 videos on the microSD card, eight of which depict Smallwood engaged in sexually explicit conduct with a seven year old boy, or Smallwood engaging in sexual conduct in front of the child. On May 21, 2010, the boy depicted in the videos was located and interviewed by Prince George’s County Department of Social Services.
Smallwood was employed by Prince George’s County Public Schools as a school bus driver, primarily for elementary school aged children.
Smallwood was arrested on May 21, 2010. Smallwood admitted he had several inappropriate contacts with the boy and using his cell phone, he produced visual recordings of his sexual contact with the boy. Smallwood admitted that he had the boy over for “sleepovers” where he offered candy in exchange for inappropriate sexual contact. Smallwood also admitted to taking the microSD card containing the sexually explicit videos out of his cell phone in order to destroy it, but lost it.
According to court documents and statements made at today’s sentencing hearing, Smallwood has, for years, surrounded himself with children. In addition to driving a bus for Prince George’s County schools, Smallwood volunteered with his church’s youth program, drove buses for Montgomery County summer camps, and participated in child development courses in high school where, as a student, Smallwood worked directly with children in preschool, elementary school, and daycare centers. Another 37 videos found on Smallwood’s cell phone depict him with approximately 30 different children at church functions, friends’ houses and parties.
Law enforcement executed a federal search warrant on Smallwood’s residence and seized notebooks with charts and lists denoting personal information of over 400 children, including the type of underwear worn and a description of various body parts. Some of the charts include Smallwood’s sexual contact with some of the children. Comparing the lists recovered during the search of Smallwood’s residence to information from Smallwood’s previous employers, law enforcement has identified 75 of the names listed as real children who would have been known to Smallwood, including a child Smallwood worked with during his high school child development class. Law enforcement also recovered several hundred pages of graphic stories written by Smallwood describing the sexual exploitation, rape and torture of children, including physically and mentally handicapped children.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov. Details about Maryland’s program are available at http://www.justice.gov/usao/md/Safe-Childhood/index.html.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein expressed special appreciation to the Prince George’s County Police Department; Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Prince George’s County Board of Education for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution.
Mr. Rosenstein commended HSI Baltimore for its work in this investigation and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacy Dawson Belf, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney LisaMarie Freitas of the U.S. Justice Department, Criminal Division, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, who prosecuted the case.